April 22, 2019
Letter from the President
By Brian Calley
It seems like bipartisanship is hard to come by these days. Here at SBAM, we are committed to being intentionally bipartisan because we advocate for policies that help small businesses thrive, regardless of who proposes them. And when policies are proposed that would harm small businesses, we vigorously oppose them. We are and will be respectful and mindful of how important our long-term relationships are, but when we disagree, policymakers will know about it.
Earlier this year, Governor Whitmer started a process to improve the ability of small businesses to do business with the State of Michigan. Naturally, we supported that initiative and have been very active in its development. I even made a few joint public appearances with the Governor to promote that work.
When a new “pass through entity” tax was proposed by the Whitmer Administration, we vigorously opposed it. In practical terms, that proposal is a small business tax that moves Michigan backward. Small businesses create most of the jobs in our state, contrary to what is highlighted in the media. We cannot afford to lose ground on our business climate. This year’s Entrepreneurship Scorecard shows that we have steadily improved our business climate in recent years, but competition is fierce with other states. Here’s an op-ed I wrote explaining our opposition.
Just last week, SBAM joined a bipartisan group of legislators, business groups and education interests in supporting the Governor’s Mi Opportunity Scholarship and Reconnect proposals. The number one issue we hear from members is about difficulty finding people with the right skills to fill the current talent demand. In many ways, our economy has outgrown our workforce. These proposals expand access to 2-year degrees and high value trade and industry certificates. That means more opportunity for Michiganders and an expanded talent pipeline for growing businesses.
We have nearly 27,000 members. They come from every industry and county of our state. Regardless of the political leanings of our small business members, know that SBAM is all about protecting the ability for small business to thrive. Policy guides our path.